High thermal conductivity in amorphous polymer blends by engineered interchain interactions

Nature Materials,  Nov 

Gun-Ho Kim (1,2), Dongwook Lee (1,3), Apoorv Shanker (3,), Lei Shao (1), Min Sang Kwon (2), David Gidley (4), Jinsang Kim (5,6), Kevin P. Pipe(1,7).

1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2125, USA.
2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2136, USA.
3. Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2136, USA.
4. Department of Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1040, USA.
5. Department of Chemistry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1055, USA.
6. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2136, USA.
7. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2121, USA.

 

ABSTRACT

Thermal conductivity is an important property for polymers, as it often affects product reliability (for example, electronics packaging), functionality (for example, thermal interface materials) and/or manufacturing cost. However, polymer thermal conductivities primarily fall within a relatively narrow range (0.1–0.5 W m−1 K−1) and are largely unexplored. Here, we show that a blend of two polymers with high miscibility and appropriately chosen linker structure can yield a dense and homogeneously distributed thermal network. A sharp increase in cross-plane thermal conductivity is observed under these conditions, reaching over 1.5 W m−1 K−1 in typical spin-cast polymer blend films of nanoscale thickness, which is approximately an order of magnitude larger than that of other amorphous polymers.

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Significance Statement

Conventional plastics are inexpensive, lightweight and flexible, but because they restrict the flow of heat, their use is limited in computer and smart phone technologies or in cars or airplanes. This is because heat dissipation is important but limited with the current plastics. Researchers at University of Michigan  made a new light, versatile, metal-replacement materials that could be used in electronics or more efficient vehicles, among other applications. The new material, is actually a blend, can flow heat 10 times the conventional plastics.

 

Photo: Credit University of Michigan.

High thermal conductivity in amorphous polymer blends by engineered interchain interactions- advances in engineering

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